Presentation of the Augsburg Confession—Observed (Mt 10:26–33)

Photo by Somin Khanna on Unsplash

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

INI + AMEN.

“Don’t be afraid. You, yes you, are worth more than many sparrows.” In fact, YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. That’s what Jesus paid for you. In Jesus’ day, two sparrows may have been sold in the market for a penny, but you were redeemed, you were purchased and won “not with gold or silver” (“perishable things”) “but with the precious blood of Christ, like a lamb without spot or blemish.”

YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. Not based on anything that you’ve done. Not based on anything that you are. You are loved by your Father. You are cared for by your Father: “even the hairs on your head are all numbered.” You are blood-shed for, died for, raised for. That’s your value and worth. Just what your Father wanted when He sent His Son to die for you. YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. Washed in His blood. Fed and nourished with His body and blood.

((I. We find our value in others things.))

Our value, our worth isn’t based on other things. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how healthy you how, how smart you are, how able-bodied you are. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It doesn’t matter what job you have. (One you like or one you don’t). It doesn’t even matter if you have a job! Yes, you could be a “father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, or worker;” you could be a veteran or a citizen; farm owner or farmhand; own the land, rent the land, or just work the land. But your value or worth isn’t based on any of that.

All those things are a good gifts. They’re good gifts from your Father. Good gifts given to you so that you would be a gift to others, so that your Father can use you to gift them what they have. Our problem is that we really do look at our value and worth as being based on those things. If I can’t work, what am I? If I get sick or weak or disabled, I’m different than I was before. If it all goes belly up, then I’m less.

It’s why we’re so up tight. Why we’re empty. Why the bottle’s empty! It’s why we get so frustrated at ourselves and others. Why we get angry when something changes or has to change, and why’d we rather make others change to our needs because our value and worth is based solely upon what we want now, or what we are or what we do and what we have done up to this point.

((Transition.))

Repent! YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. That’s what Jesus paid for you. For your finding your worth and value outside of Him. (Breaking the First Commandment.) See: it’s not based on anything that you’ve done or are. But you are cared for by your Father: “even the hairs on your head are all numbered.” You’re blood-shed for, died for, raised for. That’s your value and worth. Just what your Father wanted when He sent His Son to die for you. YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. Washed in His blood. Fed and nourished with His body and blood.

((II. We acknowledge this truth: we and the world are worth the blood of Jesus.))

And that’s exactly what we “confess” or “acknowledge before men,” before the world. That’s what we “say in the light” and “preach on rooftops.” We tell of what Jesus has done for us. We say that we are worth the blood of Jesus, and so is the world. He shed His blood for our sins, and the sins of the whole world. “What Jesus does for me, He’s done for you, too.” That’s what we teach and preach and tell.

In 1530, 489 years ago, that’s what the German princes did at the German city of Augsburg. (It’s city crest is on our bulletin today.) They presented their Augsburg Confession to Emperor Charles V. As Lutherans, the Augsburg Confession is our most important Creed based on Scripture after the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian. It’s what U.A.C. is all about in our congregation’s name—Unaltered Augsburg Confession. In its XXVIII Articles, there’s one theme that comes up again and again and again: comforting sinners who are afraid because of their sins. Or as Jesus says it today: “Don’t be afraid. You, yes you, are worth more than many sparrows.”

YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. And so you’re not afraid of those who can only kill your body. Why be nervous about telling? Jesus rose from the dead for you! So, you’re not even afraid of your Father in heaven. He is your Father! Look at the price He paid for you—the blood of His Son. He cares for the birds. “Not one falls apart from your Father.” “Even the hairs of your head and all numbered.” No bird falls, no hair falls out apart from Him. And you won’t fall apart from Him either. In fact, you won’t just fall in His care, you’ll be resurrected to live with Him forever.

((Conclusion.))

“Don’t be afraid. You, yes you, are worth more than many sparrows.” In fact, YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. That’s what Jesus paid for you. It’s not based on anything that you’ve done or are. You’re blood-shed for, died for, raised for. That’s your value and worth. Just what the Father wanted when He sent His Son to die for you.

Jesus’ Father is your Father. You won’t fall apart from Him, He’ll be with you when you fall and rise again on the Last Day. Why? Because you’ve been washed in Jesus’ blood in Holy Baptism. But you’re not just washed in His blood. You’re fed and nourished with His body and blood. Why be afraid of your Father? You’ve received the body and blood of His Son, and now you’re kept safe in body and soul unto life everlasting.

All of that’s for the world, too. He did it for all and for you, and He wants the baptizing and the eating and the drinking to be for everyone. It is for everyone! Even you. Yes, you. “Don’t be afraid. You’re worth more than many sparrows.” You must be. What Jesus paid for you He also splashes over you and feeds to you. YOU’RE WORTH THE BLOOD OF JESUS. You really are.

INI + AMEN.

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